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Dispatches: June 2019

Welcome to Dispatches, the monthly newsletter of the Wilson Center's Asia Program. Subscribe today to make sure you never miss an issue.

Paying the Cost for U.S. Withdrawal from TPP

With bows exchanged to Japan’s newly enthroned emperor and a huge trophy awarded to the season’s sumo champion, President Trump’s latest visit to Tokyo was at first blush a protocol triumph. The fact that the president was willing to commit four days simply to travel to Japan when he will be going there again in a month’s time for the G20 meeting also sent a powerful signal to across the Asia-Pacific region that U.S-Japan relations remain strong and critical for both countries.

Values and U.S. Policy Toward the Indo-Pacific

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sought to address the role that values and norms should play in its foreign policy generally, and in the U.S. strategy toward the Indo-Pacific specifically. This is a reflection of a long-standing debate in American foreign policy, going back to the founding of the nation itself, but the arguments made by top U.S. officials are worth considering.

U.S.-Japan Relations in Disarray: Who Will Sustain Liberal International Order, and How?

SMU's Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program will be hosting it's symposium, "U.S.-Japan Relations in Disarray: Who Will Sustain Liberal International Order, and How?" at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., May 7. Hear from our panelists on various policy areas concerning American and Japanese relations, such as Trade and Regional Security.

Please click here to RSVP.

Schedule: 

Proliferation, Plutonium, and Power: The Carter Administration and Japan’s Search for a Plutonium Economy

Japan and the United States faced a serious rift in relations in the late 1970s over the future of civilian nuclear power. Japan hoped that the reprocessing of spent reactor fuel into plutonium would provide an abundant, domestically produced, and economical power source. The United States, especially under the Carter administration, saw an increase in the global stockpile of plutonium as a major proliferation threat.

Cold War Democracy: The United States and Japan

Has American foreign policy been a reflection of a desire to promote democracy, or a simple product of hard-nosed geopolitics? In this talk, Jennifer Miller argues that democratic ideals were crucial, but not in the way most defenders claim. Focusing on the postwar occupation of Japan, she examines how the Cold War produced a new understanding of democracy as rooted in psychologies and mentalities.

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